Poker Player Hits Royal Flush and Doesn’t Realize It, Wins $192K

The odds of hitting a royal flush in Texas Hold’em are 639,739:1, or about once in every 650,000 hands. Even the most diehard poker players go their entire lives without getting one, but a poker player in Chile just did without even realizing it.

Poker players play a hand of Texas Hold'em
Poker players play a hand of Texas Hold’em. A poker player at a casino in Chile just hit a royal flush and pocketed $192,000 from the casino. (Image: Casino Torrequebrada)

A man from a city in southern Chile visited the Monticello casino outside Santiago with his wife this past Wednesday. As the unidentified player, in town on a business trip, sat down to play a game of poker that already had three players at the table, his wife headed off to the slot machines.

The cards continued to fly and the man diligently played against the others. He didn’t have much luck at first, but it didn’t take long for his impromptu decision to visit the casino to pay off in a big way.

Cards And Life Flipped Over

While on his third hand, the man saw an acquaintance from the same southern city who was passing through the casino. They greeted each other and began to talk as the dealer dealt the flop, turn and river.

He looked at them without much attention, continuing the conversation with his friend. Eventually looking down at his cards, he realized that the board had given him a straight. He then turned over his hole cards and that’s when the truth hit. It wasn’t just a straight; it was a royal flush.

After a couple of seconds of stunned silence, the table began to cheer – not just because of his luck at the cards, but because of the pot he was about to collect. The casino runs a promo with a large prize for hitting a royal flush and he had just won CLP150 million (US$192,000).

He didn’t make a big deal out of it, telling the casino that he’s not prone to outbursts of excitement. He went to find his wife, wanting to tell her the good news, but she didn’t believe him at first. Instead, she thought he was playing a prank and launched into a mini-tirade.

In order to prove it to her, he walked her over to the table, where the other players were still waiting. They began congratulating him again, and this is when she realized it was true.

As they left, he shared his good fortune with the others. He gave each player at the table CLP1 million (US$1,260) and the casino staff a tip of CLP2 million (US$2,520).

Texas Poker Players Find Luck

The Chilean poker player isn’t the only one to find a bit of luck this week. Players in Texas who police wrongfully arrested last year won’t face charges, according to Poker News.

Police raided the Watauga Social Lounge Poker Club last October on the orders of a district attorney (DA) ignorant of state laws. The club was in the middle of a poker tournament, with police arresting a number of employees and fining players in the surprise visit.

The DA accused the poker room of running an illegal poker game. However, Texas law doesn’t prohibit organized poker, as long as the house doesn’t take a rake. This has led to the creation of social poker rooms that require a membership, which is how they survive.

There have been several challenges to the practice over the years, but almost all have been thrown out. This has led to an effort to rewrite Texas laws even as some overzealous prosecutors and DAs continue to ignore the law.

In the Watauga poker room case, which had as much as $200,000 illegally seized in the raid, a judge has signed off on a DA’s office motion to dismiss. As a result, 46 people will have their names cleared, although three others had previously accepted plea deals that are now on the books.

Some of the individuals police arrested, among which were lawyers, were hoping for a trial jury. One, Steve Nichols, said in a Facebook post that it was vindication that the DA’s office decided to “cower in the face” of those who stood up to it.

The 46 individuals will receive the $360 they each paid as a fine. However, the $200,000 is still on the table and they’re now going to fight to get that returned, as well.

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